Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Yikes -- major Yikes!

Lace knitting is definitely not for the feint of heart.  I finished the transition row, a pattern of eyelets and small flowers.  It's looking good . . . and I'm feeling smug.
Looking quite nice, I think.  This series of rows will
divide the upper portion of the shawl -- with the chevrons --
from the lower portion which is design to be quite
open and very lacey.

The instructions quite clearly state how many stitches I should have on my needle, but did I count them?  No, no, and what part of "no" do you not understand.  I can't be bothered with counting.

Thus, I launch myself into Chart C, the lacey part of the shawl.  I knit about 10 rows of this 12 row chart (yikes!) and when I look at my knitting it's not at all what the pattern says it should be.  I've already had to adjust for 'not enuf stitches cuz I didn't take time to count.'

Now I'm faced with a major decision.  Here are my options --
a.  I can continue to knit using the stitch pattern I've been using, knowing it is wrong and doesn't look like I want it to look OR
b.  I can 'un-knit' back to the last set of eyelets in the transition pattern and begin anew.

Yikes!  Naturally I choose option b above.  Well, perhaps 'naturally' is too strong a word.  I'm fairly sure there's only a few thousand other crazy obsessed knitters who would insist that the shawl be knitted using the pattern stitches given.

Now what?  It's too many rows to un-knit stitch by stitch so -- Horrors! -- I remove the needle and unravel carefully, very carefully.  
Here's the shawl with loose, sloppy and scary stitches
pretending to be orderly.  Now I have to get them unraveled
and back to the row of eyelets.  Look at the set of ruffly
stitches across the top and then come down to the first row of
holes, the eyelets.

After the unraveling I now have to put each and every stitch back onto a needle.  I use a combination of methods.  I thread a small tapestry needle with a length of crochet thread and use this to anchor some of the stitches.  Then I insert the knitting needle into each stitch anchored by the crochet thread.  

But I'm impatient (surprise?) and so I decide to unravel and put stitches back onto the needle, one stitch at a time.  There are supposed to be over 100 stitches in each of the three sections, so I'm facing a tedious job.

The green knitting needle is carefully re-inserted into each
stitch held by the bit of green crochet thread.
(We're not knitting, have you noticed?)

When all the stitches have been carefully returned to a knitting needle, I decide I just might have to count the stitches.  I re-read the pattern at least 5 times; I count my stitches; I review my work. 

Yikes!  I have only 104 of the required 118 stitches.  Clearly I have not repeated a chart 'one more time.'  But I'm not going back again.  

The new (and final) chart calls for a 6 stitch repeat.  104 / 6 is 17 with 2 stitches remaining.  I distribute them evenly, with one at each end of the section and return to knitting.

I've reached the end of section 1, with the correct number of
leftover stitches (1), after having completed 17 of the
6-stitch repeats.
Yikes!  I'm using the wrong size needle.  But I am not going back, underline not.  I'll pick up the larger needle on the purl side and it won't matter one bit.

Still have not discovered where I went wrong, to have only 104 stitches where I was supposed to have 118.  Relish the mystery!

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